MOBIT: Lappano-Colletta, Eleanor Rita [MCfaculty RIP] 2018-Jan-09



Lappano-Colletta—Dr. Eleanor Rita. Beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Scientist and Proud Fordham Alumna passed away January 9, 2018 at the age of 87.

She was a longtime resident of Riverdale, NY and Jackson, NJ. Born in New York City on January 12, 1930 she was the daughter of Mary and Ernest Lappano. Eleanor graduated from George Washington High School in New York City and continued her studies at Fordham University where she received three degrees: B.S. in Chemistry (1951), M.S. in Biology (1953) and a Ph.D. in Biology (1955), being one of the first females to have a PhD conferred in Biology from Fordham.

After completing her doctorate she held faculty positions at numerous medical schools and research institutions including: New York University Medical School; Rockefeller University, Downstate Medical College, Hospital for Special Surgery, Sloan Kettering Institute and New York Medical College. She continued her love of research, science and education while working at the Museum of Natural History as an Animal Behavior Research Associate, as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Manhattan College and as a Development Scientist at Lever Brothers.

Additionally, Eleanor was honored to serve on the National Advisory Research Council at The National Institutes of Health.

Eleanor enjoyed painting, reading and traveling the globe making many friends along the way. From PTA President to politics, she was always up for an engaging conversation or spirited debate.

Forever in our hearts, she will be missed by all. Eleanor was predeceased by her loving husband of 40 years Archangelo Colletta and a sister Lillian Savastano. She is survived by her sister Maria Redo of New York, NY, children Mary Cregan (David) of Atlanta, GA, John Colletta (Renee) of Destin, FL, Gina DiGuglielmo (Anthony) of Long Valley, NJ and four adoring granddaughters Daniella, Alissa, Caitlin and Audrey.

A Celebration of Eleanor’s Life will include a visitation on Sunday, January 14, 2018 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at William J. Leber Funeral Home, 15 Furnace Road, Chester, NJ (908) 879-3090. A 10am Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, January 15 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Flanders, NJ. A private burial will take place at Brigadier General Doyle Cemetery at a later date. For online condolences visit

William J. Leber Funeral Home 15 Furnace Rd. Chester, NJ 07930 (908) 879-3090
Published in The New York Times on Jan. 11, 2018


Lappano-Colletta, Eleanor Rita [MCfaculty RIP]


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Colon, Philip J. (MC1962) added this request to his prayer circle.

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